Home maintenance is somewhat of a mystery for many new home owners. The easiest way to extend the life of your home systems and save money by preventing costly repairs is to stick to a maintenance schedule. Here are some of the most common areas of the house, how often you should inspect them and what you should look for.
If you are have baseboard heaters or vents, you should check them monthly. Make sure any furniture, rugs and any flammable materials are not touching any heaters or blocking any vents. You should change your air filters out (at minimum) seasonally. And that is a good time to inspect your furnace to check for any unusual noises, corroded or damaged pipes, dirt buildup or back up of water in the drain line.
Doors & Windows
It is best to check doors and windows twice a year, when it's cold and when it's hot. Check the locks and hinges and make sure that the seal is clean and not damaged around the whole door and in the window tracks.
Roof & Gutters
Check your roof from the ground at least twice a year. Look for loose or missing shingles, damaged or missing fascia and any areas of high wear, mold or nests. Also remove any tree branches or piles of leaves. For the gutters, remove any debris and anything blocking downspouts. Also check for deteriorating paint or loose or rotted areas.
Siding & Paint
Inspect your siding and house paint twice a year and clean as needed. Look out for cracks, signs of moisture, and paint that is peeling or bubbling. Check for signs of pests, such as ants and termites. To learn more about signs of termites, head here.
Fireplace & Chimney
Once a year, check your fireplace and chimney. Look for any debris, crumbling or missing mortar and buildup of soot. Make sure your damper closes tightly as well. Clean the flue and dispose of any ashes.
We've created a maintenance calendar for easy reminders to check these things and more. You can get it as part of our FREE landlord resource kit. And keep an eye out for the second part of this guide for more tips about maintaining your property.